Jade is actually a term used for two different stones, jadeite and nephrite. Nephrite is the more common of the two, and jadeite is significantly more valuable. Jadeite is harder and heavier than nephrite as well, though even nephrite is heavier than the stones used to imitate it. It is generally green, but it can occur in a wide range of colours, such as black, purple, red, blue, grey, white, orange, and yellow. It can be light or dark, often has brown streaks or spots, and is most commonly quite opaque.
The name ‘jade’ (and subsequently ‘jadeite’) comes from the Spanish piedra de ijada, meaning “loin stone”; the name ‘nephrite’ is derived from the Latin lapis nephriticus, which means the same thing.
Location: Jade (as nephrite) can be found in Canada (in BC), Australia, Brazil, China, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, the United States (in Alaska), and Zimbabwe. Jadeite is primarily mined in Myanmar (Burma), but is also found in Canada, Cuba, Guatemala, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, and the United States.
Properties: Placing jade under your pillow facilitates all manners of dream work, from processing emotions to developing skills with lucid dreaming. It is also a useful stone for bringing dreams into reality, for encouraging devotion to a cause, and for heightening ambition. Because it can help to clarify the problems of others and connect one to higher wisdom, it has the potential to be useful for counselors and other people in helping professions. It promotes balance of personal needs with external requirements, as well as instilling confidence and self-reliance.
In addition to the general properties, the color of the stone offers some additional benefits. Green jade is excellent for emotional processing and embracing abundance; purple jade brings happiness and humor, encouraging a lighter approach to life; black jade acts as an energetic shield against negativity; red jade helps with courage, assertion, grounding, and motivation.
Some claim that jade can help with treating heart, hip, kidney, and spleen disorders, as well as improving health of hair and skin.